BANKS, Steve (United Kingdom)

Title of contribution:

Demystifying Mysticism : Uncovering
The ‘No Boundary’ Experience

Integral Music: Presentation; Full Spectrum Dance Meditation; and Integral Oratorio

‘Integral Hearth’ : Towards A Collective Integral Practice


Where & when:

Tuesday, 22nd 15:30-17:00

Ibiza II.
Saturday, 26th 12:00-14:00

Ibiza I.
Sunday, 27th 11:30-13:30


Demystifying Mysticism : Uncovering The ‘No Boundary’ Experience

Wilber’s first books, ‘No Boundary’ and ‘The Spectrum of Consciousness’ set out an understanding of the mystical experience which is accessible to the modern mind as never before. Wilber take the mystery out of mysticism. This is an experiential workshop which will lead you into a clear understanding of the mystical experience, and to realizing that it is the fundamental nature of every moment you can ever experience. The workshop is mainly exercises and meditations, with a little conceptual explanation. You will experience what Steve has termed ‘Retalk’: a fun new language that reflects no-boundary reality. The workshop is open to people of any spiritual tradition, or none. The only requirement is a willingness to experiment; to look with fresh eyes at your direct experience. You will leave with a deeper understanding of the ‘no boundary’ experience, which you can continue to apply in your spiritual practice and in your daily life.
“I forgot to mention in my application to run the ‘Demystifying Mysticism’ workshop that I would be happy to run either a short (3 hour), or a long (6 hour) version.
Integral Oratorio

I did mention in my application that I would also like to do a short presentation about the Integral Oratorio, a piece for choir, solo singers and oratorio, which is a work-in-progress. This is probably the first of its kind in existence (and therefore a living example of ‘Allies in Evolution’).

This presentation could include:

· Me giving a short talk, with short musical excerpts to illustrate, about Integral Music in general, and how the Integral Oratorio conveys Integral forms, and leads the listener into Integral experiences (10 minutes).
· Listening to one or two sections of the Oratorio (synthesised ‘performance’): probably ‘Evolution 5’, which represents the 13.5 billion years of evolution in 5 minutes of music (the choir come in at the last split second to sing just ‘I’, representing the 1,000,000 million or so years of homo sapiens’ existence’; and ‘Blue Pearl’, a song which invites the listener to experience his- or herself as the Earth evolving (the chorus is “Blue Pearl, I turn and I turn. One world, I learn and I learn”). Both these movement are particularly appropriate for the conference theme, ‘Allies of Evolution’. (10 minutes).
· A very short talk about what I need in order to move the piece forward to a first performance. (3 minutes)
· A short Q & A. (7 minutes).

Total – about ½ an hour (or could be 45 minutes, or an hour).”


Integral Music: Presentation; Full Spectrum Dance Meditation; and Integral Oratorio

Three parts. 1) Presentation on Integral Music. Musical excerpts for each LEVEL of the spectrum of consciousness. QUADRANTS: how the LEVEL of consciousness of the composer (UL), conveyed thorough the music (UR), interacts with the consciousness of performers and audience (LL) and performance ‘container’ (LR). Music can induce peak STATE experiences. How experience of music is affected by strengths in different LINES. 2) Full Spectrum Mindfulness Meditation (as in KW’s book, ‘Integral Meditation’). Inspired by great music, dance (recommended, or sitting) each level of the Spectrum of Consciousness in turn, ‘Witnessing’ between. 3) Presentation on Steve’s Integral Oratorio, with excerpts. Probably the first piece of its kind in history, it is an Integral Communion: the audience participates actively to enter sacred Integral space. It is a work-in-progress, and Steve is looking for support (including financial) to help bring the piece to its first public performance.


‘Integral Hearth’ : Towards A Collective Integral Practice

1) Presentation: ‘Integral Hearth’ : Towards A Collective Integral Practice. A contemporary spiritual forum for people already into Integral; and for the ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’, an opportunity to try a spiritual practice which is rooted in rationality – ‘see for yourself’, rather than a faith, or creed. Potentially, the kernel of an Integral community that can serve the wider community.
1A) Reviewing our existing personal experience of collective spiritual practice (church service, Quaker meeting for worship, Buddhist retreats, ‘Jumu’ah’, etc). Positive and negative experiences.
1B) Steve presents the principles and format of ‘Integral Hearth’ as recently piloted in Totnes, England. An AQAL communal practice.
2) Experience the ‘Integral Hearth’.
3) Small group reflection on the experience; brainstorm ways in which it could be developed. Feedback to the whole group. Perhaps start a network of ‘Integral Hearth’ groups across different countries to share experience.


About Steve Banks

Steve is a musician, composer and workshop leader. He has performed with many ensembles from the London Symphony Orchestra to the Carnival Band. He has played for rituals based on Dagara traditions, and has co-led Rites of Passage intensives for men. His new ‘Integral Oratorio’ is probably the first piece of its kind. He has been an Integral and meditation practitioner for 25 years. He has created the experiential course ‘Demystifying Mysticism’ based on Wilber’s work.


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